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Hawaiian Style Wedding Cake decorated with purple orchidsTable Settings and Wedding Cakes

The wedding reception can be made truly memorable and carry through the Hawaiian theme with a few unique touches to the wedding cake and the table settings.

The Wedding Cake

A colorful Hawaiian print of flowers can be translated in fondant on your cake, or order a pretty 3-layer cake in white icing and have the baker decorate with traditional icing rosebuds, lacework and beautiful fresh white or purple orchids.

A fresh orchid lei can be cut and then spiraled around the cake for a dramatic effect.

White orchids decorate a Hawaiian-theme wedding cakeBudget Tip

To make a cake similar to the one at left, order a two-layer cake with white icing and have the baker add icing shells at the seam between the two layers and at the bottom of the bottom layer. Buy a bottle of tiny silver icing beads at your grocery store. With tweezers, carefully apply the beads in a geometric pattern. Decide which will be the front of your cake and work from both the right and left, so any misalignments will be at the back where it won't matter. Decorate with pretty fresh orchids and surround with tea lights.

Elegant Hawaiian style wedding table setting with sprays of white and purple orchidsThe Contemporary Reception Table

From a simple single plumeria or orchid blossom placed on each guest napkin to tables set with silver chargers and dramatic sprays of white and purple orchids in silver canisters on a bed of sparkling glass pebbles, there is a wide range of table settings that work with a Hawaiian wedding.

Dramatic Hawaiian wedding table setting decorated with a line of tropical flowers and candlesA line of tropical flowers mixed with rose petals can make a dramatic and fragrant statement.

Multiple orchid leis can be cut open and tied together to create a meandering line of flowers that grace a long banquet table, or purchase loose orchids and sprinkle lavishly in the centers of round tables along with tea candles and tumbled glass pebbles.

Colorful napkins at a wedding reception for a tropical look.The Tropical Table

The tropical table is a natural for a garden or outdoor reception. Color can be used with abandon. Buy yards of bold Hawaiian-print fabric and use as a table runner or bunch arfully around baskets filled with tropical flowers. Seashells can be used as an added element.

A traditional tropical look is to make a runner of ferns and layer tropical fruit (bananas, lemons, papayas, dragonfruit) with colorful orchids and anthuriums. Lay this on a plain white or a colored tablecloth.

Plumeria decorates the place settingReception Budget Tips

Instead of booking the reception at a hotel, ask a friend with a large yard if you can have the reception on their grounds. Another possibility is at a nearby park - just be sure that you get the proper permits, check if alcohol is allowed and locate near the toilets!

Many caterers can supply the chairs and tables or you can go to a party rental center. Save more money by renting nice white wood chairs and eliminate the expense of fabric chaircovers.

Rather than renting cloth napkins, buy good quality brightly-colored paper napkins. Fold them yourself into an interesting shape or artfully arrange them in the wine glasses at each place setting.

Another way to save money is to purchase good quality plastic knives, forks and spoons (Costco has silver ones that look surprisingly good). Wrap these in your brightly colored paper napkins and tie with a pretty ribbon or rafia. Add a single orchid to the bow for a really special look and no one will notice that you're saving money!

And the ultimate cost saver... make the reception a potluck! We suggest you provide the meat (barbecue marinated chicken and small steaks) and ask your guests to bring salads and side dishes. You'll also be providing the drinks and, of course, the wedding cake for dessert.

A potluck can add another fun dimension to the reception. You may want to hire some college students to help with the setup and serving.


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